2014: A Year in Review

Dear Friend,


It was a YEAR. I started by taking the month of January to reflect on the previous year and then spent the rest of the year really putting my self-care practices to the test.

Looking through all these posts, I can, without a doubt, say I feel genuinely proud of the work I’ve put out in the world this year.

I hope you find something that helps make your life feel more healthy, happy and sane.

Please click that link over there to make sure you don’t miss any updates in 2015 –  get email updates (it’s FREE).

Without further ado, here’s 2014 in review.

With lots of love and compassion,



2014 a year in review

January 2014:

Looking Back in Order to Look Forward

2014 newsletter #1

2014 newsletter word of the year

February 2014:

Tips For Starting and Maintaining a Daily Meditation Practice

Tips for starting and stustaining a daily meditation practice tuesday tips

Permission to Rest (For As Long As It Takes to Feel Better)

stop light

19 Tips On Taking Care of Yourself While in the Middle of Taking Care of Those That You Love. Plus 6 Tips for Helping Others Who are In Need

taking care

10 Things I Loved In February 2014

uc davis arboretum

 March 2014

Simple Techniques For Adding Self-Care to An Already Over-Scheduled Life

self care timer

Want More Energy? Make Less Decisions.


Celebrate YOU.

it is your birthday

Featured Teacher Nikki Stern: Connecting Food and Mood

nikki stern featured teacher

10 Things I Loved in March 2014

10 things march

April 2014

 Removing Obstacles to Your Self-Care

obstacles to self-care

May 2014

The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher Home Study Program – self care isn’t just for teachers!


Books I Love

what i am reading

Please Introduce Yourself (and how can I best be of service?)

rest tami

Even Imperfect Self-Care Counts!

imperfect self care

June 2014

Summer of Intentionality Part 1: To READ

so many bookssummer of intentionality part one to read

Summer of Intentionality Part 2: To DO

summer of intentionality part two to do

Summer of Intentionality Part 3: To LEARN

summer laziness

10 Things I Loved in June 2014

10 things june 2014

July 2014

Links Worth Clicking Through

links i love summer 2014

5 Reasons to Go On A Yoga Retreat

5 reasons

9 Ways to Keep Your Cool This Summer (+ 12 More)

9 ways to cool it down summer

August 2014

Favorite 15 Minute Dinner (vegan + gluten free)

creamy vegan garlic sauce over pasta

10 Things I Loved In Summer 2014

10 things i loved summer 2014

September 2014

 Treat Yourself: 8 Reasons Why Private Yoga Sessions Might Work for You 

8 reasons private yoga sessions might work for you

Life Lesson From My Mom


TGBTS Cooks! Green Muffins (aka my girl’s birthday cupcakes)

green muffins

October 2014

Top 7 Podcasts of 2014

top 7 podcasts of 2014

Links Worth Clicking – Fall 2014

links i love fall 2014

All the Self-Care in the World Can’t Save You

all the self care in the world

November 2014

Can Your Smart Phone Improve Your Health?

can smart phone improve your health

December 2014

Restoration Not Resolutions the WHY behind my annual New Year’s Day workshop.

restoration not resolutions 2015 writing tea

Feel Lonely and Sad at the Holidays?

lonely sad holidays

Why Choose a Word of the Year? 

why choose a word of the year street

Sad and Lonely at the Holidays? You Are Not Alone.

sad lonely holidays

Dear Friend,

Recently a friend posted on Facebook urging others to remember that the holidays can be particularly difficult for people who have suffered loss. My dear friend lost both her parents in the last couple years and was explaining that she experiences those losses again and again over the holidays and around birthdays. She just wanted to remind everyone that the holiday season can feel particularly tender for her.

I was not only struck by her emotional honesty, but also how deeply what she said resonated with me. While I have been making my peace with the season (see below), I have quietly discovered that on the actual holiday day, I usually feel a bit sad, a bit lonely, a bit disappointed, a bit like an outsider looking in. I use the word quietly on purpose here because I am not overcome by these feelings, but I am just quietly observing them and letting them have their say.

In holidays past I used to let those feelings take up residency in my body from the day before Thanksgiving until well after the new year. Now I just watch what comes up and almost before I know it, the feelings pass. Until they come again. And if something sticks around a little longer – that’s ok because I know now that all feelings (well, everything) is temporary.

So, friend, I wish you the merriest of Christmases. And if you find yourself feeling lonely or sad for whatever reason, I want you to know you aren’t alone.

I hope you are well.

With lots of love and compassion,

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Other posts you might like:

How Not to Lose Your Marbles During the Holidays

8 Self-Care Tips for the Holiday Season

How I Overcame the Holiday Humbug in 7 Steps

Look Back In Order to Look Forward

Treat Yourself: 8 Reasons Why Private Yoga Session Might Work For You

10 Things I Loved in April 2014

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

10 things aprilTen Things I Loved In April

Things I/We Did

1.     Used our health insurance. I hardly ever go to the doctor, but when I do I am so happy I have it. Bonus – I absolutely adore my GP and my new behavior medicine doctor. April was one of much contagious coughing in our house, so knowing we were taken care of helped ease part of the stress.

2.     Traveled to Texas. My mom had a stroke in January and is on a long road to I’m not sure where. Thankful for everyone who has reached out with support to me and my family and especially to those who lent a hand with emergency child care and food offerings. The extra long hugs and mid day Skype sessions have really helped me hold it together. People, aging parents is h.a.r.d. 

3.      Binged on ScandalI think I like it even more than House of Cards. Gladiators in suits and oh what beautiful suits they are! Olivia Pope’s wardrobe is a good enough reason to check this show out.

4.      The Healthy Happy Sane Teacher is back! Last month I told you we’d been working all month to make it a home study program so people can get started right away and work at their own pace. All true and then we had to work through some tech issues and we’re thisclose to launching. So excited! I’ve kept up my HHST practices and once again am amazed at how much healthier, happier and more sane I feel – even when I had bronchitis it worked!

5.     Preschool soccer for my tiny human. I can’t decide if three year olds playing “soccer” is the cutest thing in the world or the most ridiculous, but we started and laughed pretty hard. So far she’s comforted a crying teammate, refused to get on the field and asked the ref if she could blow the whistle. She really likes the post game snacks.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.   MindBodyBliss with Nikki SternA cleanse, but one where you still eat. A lot. And the food is delicious – even my Texas living brother said so. The program was exactly what I needed to help me take really great care of myself when I was ill and dealing with travel and ailing mama stuff. I’ve recommended working with Nikki in the past and this gave me even more reason to do so. Nikki helps you take really good care of you in a way that is easy and yet profound.

7.  The Mentorship Coterie with Hilary Rushford2014 is the year to invest in myself and my business and working with Hilary has been a dream. She’s smart, she’s funny and she is super helpful in seeing possibility where you haven’t. Plus she’s worked her tail off to create a beautiful community and business – both styling and mentoring. So glad I decided to work with her!

Things on the Internet I Can Highly Recommend:

8.   Mindful Mondays series on Whoorl. Sarah James is a beauty blogger with noteworthy amazing hair (she even did a Pantene commercial), but recently she’s become a seeker of truth. Last year she started having some hard to diagnose health issues and as a result has been on a journey. I am loving her no nonsense style while she’s diving into some seriously woo-woo business. Kindred spirit for sure!

9.    Everyday Snacks series on Shutterbean. You all know how much I love Tracy from Shutterbean and the Joy The Baker Podcast. She is my imaginary new internet BFF, so imagine my delight when I started following her on Instagram to discover a new hashtag in my honor (or so I like to think!) – #shutterbeandinner. Life only got better when Tracy started a series on healthy snacks on her blog: peanut butter filled dates with coconut, roasted strawberries with cheese over graham crackers, heart shaped cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.

10.   Good Life Project with Jonathan FieldsI can’t get enough of this interview series, but I have also seriously been enjoying Jonathan’s “Jam Sessions” with topics like How Do You Stay Motivated Over A Longer Period of Time and Three Things That Will Stop Your Creative Life from Destroying You and The “Hair On Fire” Minus One Method To Getting More Done In Less Time. They are less than 15 minutes and are full of great information.


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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source: My Instagram!

12 More Ways to Celebrate National Day of Unplugging


March 7 sundown to March 8th sundown is National Day of Unplugging. I probably need to take part. It has been a while since my last internet fast. {How’s that for a confession?}

Sarah from Yes and Yes published a great list of 23 Non-Technology Things To Do On National Unplug Day and I will add 12 more.

12 More Ways to Celebrate National Day of Unplugging

1.  Go to a restorative yoga class. What could be better? 

2.  Read a novel in the bath.

3.  Take your kid to the park and leave your smartphone in the car or at home.

4.  Get a massage.

5.  Spend some time at the Church of Quiet.

6.  Meet a friend for tea at a wifi free coffeehouse.

7.  Sleep.

8.  Go on a hike.

9.  Take a day trip to see some flowers.

10.  Go to a museum.

11.  Go to the beach.

12.  Spend the afternoon bowling or karaoke with friends.

Are you called to unplug? Do you ever do this?

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

Thanks to Yes and Yes for the brilliant 23 Non-Technology Things To Do On National Unplug Day. Hope over and check them out and then try something on the list. I especially love #2, #9, and #15.

Tiny Tips Tuesday: 19 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Also Taking Care of Your Loved Ones

Dear Friend,

I am not going to lie. This past week was HARD. Quite possibly one of the hardest of my life. Something about parenting a small child while being far away from my own ailing mama plus the reality of our situation settling in and really making itself known. And let’s not forget the seemingly never ending cold virus.

Today I offer you some tips on taking care of yourself while in the middle of taking care of the people you love.

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional and if you are in crisis please seek immediate medical attention from a medical professional.]

A vast majority of these helpful ideas were crowd-sourced from my Facebook friends, many of whom have experienced parenting while caring for their own parents through long-term illness and transitioning into end of life.

I offer these tips to you because they’ve already begun to help me. If you have a secret self-care tip to share, please message me. I am all ears.

Wishing you a week filled with love and self-kindness.
PS – If you know someone who is in need of some self-care or wants to help someone out, please forward this on to them.
taking care

And you don’t even have to do all of them to feel better.

1. Reach out. Friends, family, loved ones, your primary care doctor, a therapist, a support group. Any and all of these can be helpful. A text, a phone call, a Facebook message. Isolating yourself is not the answer. No one can go through crisis alone, so please ask for help or at least let people know you need help.

We are programmed as humans to need connection and one of our basic human needs is to tend and befriend not just fight and flight. So reach out.

The number one thing take away from friends is we can’t do it alone. Ignoring our own needs and those of our immediate family does not help anyone – not you and not your ailing loved one.

2. Accept help when it is offered.  I struggle with this, but I am trying to change that because I am finally understanding you can’t do it alone. If people offer you dinner, take it. If someone you trust offers childcare, take it.

3. Slow down. Take it one day at a time. Or one hour. Or one minute.4. Clear your schedule as much as possible.

5. Meditate.

6. Let people physically comfort you. Embracing long hugs and hand holding and letting yourself cry in front of others.

7. Recharge your batteries. Go on a walk, hit the gym, take a yoga class

8. Nap. Rest until you are better.

9. Sleep. We’re all just giant two year olds without it.

10. Laugh. Some people watch funny movies. I like to exchange ridiculous comments on friends’ Facebook statuses – usually on Friday nights. Because we old, but we are still funny as hell.

11. Stay away from negative media/the “news”.

12. Cry. Watch a sad movie and cry it out. Ugly cry on purpose.

13. Let your kid watch TV sometimes. And don’t feel guilty about it. (We’ve been loving Sid the Science Kid, Elmo’s Potty Time and Little Einsteins. Someone else recommended Kipper for its mellow vibe).

14. Keep a gratitude journal to keep perspective that not every single thing in your life sucks. Take time to add five small things that delighted you each day. I’ve been doing this on and off for years and it has made a huge impact on my happiness.

15. Silly play with your kid. We’ve been puddle splashing and mud stomping lately and while dirty (and gross) little girl has been lit up like a Christmas tree. And in turn, I’ve laughed and played and felt good about connecting with my kid.

16. Solo movie watching during the day. With popcorn. At home or the theater.

17. Eat soup.

18. Eat chocolate – if that’s your thing. Apparently it’s my peeps’ thing. Lots of chocolate on my list.

19. Read a lot.


6 Ways To Reach Out To People Who Are Hurting:

1. Offer to Skype with a friend if you are out of town or scheduling makes it impossible to get together face to face. While it doesn’t allow for hugging, talking to another human’s face is remarkably comforting.

2. Offer to babysit their kids. Nothing is more helpful than someone else taking your kid for an hour or two for fun. Especially if the parents are struggling with depression and fun isn’t on the forefront of their minds (but they still manage to feel terrible about it).

3. Offer to cook them a meal or pick their kids up from school or get them coffee. Families struggling with the basics of life need help with the basics. So if you’ve got an extra batch of veggie soup in your freezer, offer it up. When we first returned from picking up our kiddo, the last thing on our minds was food. And then like magic it appeared on our front porch and I never felt more loved or cared for.

4. Offer to take them to the gym or on a walk or run or yoga class. People need physical activity and to get the ickies out and yet they might be stuck in the caring for others instead of themselves loop.

5. Stop by to give your person a hug. Maybe bring a treat (or not), but hugging them longer than they want to be hugged.

6. Listen and allow people to just be sad without having an solution at the ready. Just being a shoulder to cry on.

Please leave any tips you have used in the comments below.

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Tiny Tips Tuesday: Permission To Rest

Dear Friend,

Recently I was given permission by two people I trust – my GP and my therapist – to stop everything and rest until I feel better. No matter how long it takes.

— Don’t they understand I have things to do? Can’t they see my giant to do list? And on and on….

The irony is not lost on me.

Obviously we teach what we need to learn. Over and over again. No matter how long it takes.

So I wanted to offer that same permission to you. To rest until you feel better. No matter how long it takes. Because you might need it – the permission and the rest.

Like I do.

Wishing you a peace-filled and restful week.


PS – if someone you know is having a hard time and would benefit from rest, please forward this message to them.

stop light

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Tiny Tips Tuesday: Tips for Starting & Sustaining A Daily Meditation Practice

So much has happened in recently.  

The phone call you never want to get. The last minute plane tickets. Public crying – at my most happy of places – the airport. The person I have loved the longest in a hospital bed. Plus a massive head cold to add a little more icing on life’s cake.

The worst time of my life.

 Or was it?

I kept wondering why I wasn’t spinning out of control from anxiety or sinking into a massive depression.

And then it hit me!

 My first instinct when I got The Call was “I better meditate before I do anything else today.”


I know.

Turns out I’ve been practicing living in the moment and now I’ve been called upon to do it for real.

Let me assure you I am not in denial about the situation (I was for a few minutes, so I know I have snapped out of it. whew!) or that things have been easy. They haven’t.

But what I realized is that by keeping myself in the present moment, I could actually help the situation. I could make decisions based on the information right in front of me. I could be fully present with my family when I needed to be — for them AND for me. Plus I could keep myself from falling off the What If ledge of insanity.

Who doesn’t want more of that?

So my friend, if you haven’t already started a daily meditation practice, please do.

It’s not just you who benefits from your practice. By you living in the moment and staying present with the people you love, you can help change the world.
Tips for starting and stustaining a daily meditation practice tuesday tips

Join Headspace. It’s free for the first 10 days. And like any good dealer, they just leave you wanting more. I’ve written about it before here. I get absolutely nothing for recommending this program to you except the good feeling that comes from showing someone what has worked for me.

Learn about meditation from Andy Puddicome, founder of Headspace. Here’s his TED Talk.

Not into Headspace? Babble likes these other meditation apps.

Meditation Mantra Or How To Stay in the Moment Without Losing Your Marbles.

7 Steps to Jump Start Your Meditation Practice

Tech Tools for Making Your Life Better

So tell me…. Do you have a regular meditation practice? How did you get started? What keeps you coming back?

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know what you think.



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10 Things I Loved: November 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

Ten Things I Loved In November

ten things november

Things I/We Did

1.     Celebrated my niece’s marriage. Saw my whole family in one place and a new city at the same time. Beautiful wedding and lots of family connection. Plus a photo booth.

photo booth

2.     Dug deep into The Gifts of Imperfection ecourse with Brene Brown.

courage compassion connection

3.     Worked with Nikki Stern, Holistic Health CoachHello, patterns. Hello, vegetables at breakfast. Hello, soup. Who knew I needed you so much? So much great information in a relatively short amount of time.

If you struggle with self-care especially around food, I highly recommend working with Nikki.

4.      Worked with a private yoga client setting up a home practice as well as practices to do at work, to transition from work to home and more. As it turns out, I love working with clients one-on-one and helping them incorporate yoga into their busy lives on their terms.

Does this sound like something you’d want to do? I’m starting to schedule for January now.

5.     Reconnected with Out of Town Friends! You know you have great visits when no one takes photos. Too much talking and hugging.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.  Instagram! I got a (yellow – omg! it’s so cute!) iPhone 5c and exactly 3 minutes after I got it, I wasn’t sure how I ever lived without it. Then I got my first bill and I remembered. OUCH. But then I look at all the pretty on Instagram and I’m better. Kinda an emotional roller coaster, but I think I’m good now.

Books I Can Highly Recommend:

7.   Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I am totally going to miss Harry, Ron and Hermonie and all the awesomeness of Hogwarts.

I get it now. I’m so glad I finally read this series.

8.    Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. This book (or Danielle LaPorte) isn’t for everyone. And not for every time in your life. But if you are on the precipice of making some big changes, this book can help.

Real talk: I’ve tried reading this book three other times and it didn’t work for me. I came back to it because of the video series and POW! This time was the real deal.

I highly recommend it, but would caution that this book is one that needs to be read slowly and with a highlighter in your hand. Good stuff.

9.    The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Courage, Compassion, Connection. Re-reading it for a course and wow. I’m feeling it this time much deeper.

Watch this video. It will change you life. Then pass it on and consider it your public service.

10.     Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff, PhD.  The 3 core components of self-compassion: 1. self-kindness 2. common humanity 3. mindfulness. Seriously, life-changing.

Videos I Fell For: .

Convos With My Two Year Old.

My life in a nutshell.

Hackschooling Makes Me Happy.

I want to be this kid when I grow up. (Thanks to DavidG for posting on FB).


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

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Image Source: I took these pictures. Please do not use them.

8 Tips: Self-Care for the Holiday Season

8 tips self care holidays

1. Start now.

I know the holidays – Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, Christmas – are weeks away. Now is the perfect time to start taking really good care of yourself or at least start planning what you are going to do! It is so much easier to do something that already has momentum.

Remember – self-care doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It can be small steps each day depending on what you need.

Let’s start now: What can you do today that will show yourself you care?

It can be as simple as going to bed 15 minutes earlier or eating a piece of fruit instead of a cookie.

2. Prioritize feeling good/taking care of yourself over whether you might disappoint others.

Yes, disappointing others sucks. But here’s a secret, it only lasts a little while. This isn’t to say you should not take other people into consideration, it means you deserve to be considered as well.

Taking care of yourself has lasting effects, well beyond the holiday season.

The 100th holiday celebration will go on without you, I promise. Those extra hours you spent soaking in the tub reading a novel you have had trouble making time to read will live on and on in a feeling of deeply caring for yourself.

3. Make a list of what is your minimum self-care.

Get real with yourself. What is the bare minimum for sleep, movement, food, quiet and fun? Not the kind of fun where you spend days recovering (I am looking at you boozy night out), but the kind where you make it through cold and flu season without really ever getting sick?

I have super high minimums for self-care. I share this with you because until really recently I used to think something was wrong with me because I need all this self- care to stay healthy. Turns out, everyone does. Even you!

My minimum self-care is at least 8 hours of sleep a night, some sort of yoga most days (some days a 90 minute class, other days 15 minutes of reset button or some simple cat/cow) fruits and vegetables at most meals (green smoothies make this tons easier) meditation at least 5 days a week (I still love Headspace) and a friend connection – usually a tea date or a lunch out once a week. Oh, and let’s not forget avoiding all forms of cow dairy and shellfish!

Not sure where to get started on your minimum self-care? Want to write your own wellness prescription?

4. Make a list of maximum self-care.

Just for fun take your self-care a step further and imagine if time and money were not a consideration, what would you do to take care of yourself?

I would have weekly therapy, weekly massage, access to a steam room and sauna, at least quarterly girl friend getaways, twice a year yoga retreats and quarterly yoga workshops. And that is just off the top of my head!

That’s fun, huh?

Now let’s try to make some of that happen. Maybe you do something for your birthday or add a massage gift card to your holiday list.

It’s all in the name of good, so do it.

5. Set yourself up for success.

Don’t buy the chips at the store. Or the cookies. Or whatever is your go-to crap food when you have had a terrible day or stressful meeting.

Not sure if you are an emotional eater?

Take a week and write down every single bit of food that passes your lips and for each thing that is being eaten for something other than actual hunger- write the feeling you are eating or the event the came right before you downed those chips or cinnamon toast.

PS – Sometimes my feelings taste like French fries, burgers and bourbon. 

What about yours?

6. Start a weekly review.

Every Tuesday I sit down with my wellness prescription (part minimum and maximum self-care list) and I schedule my sleep, food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), exercise (yoga, cardio and strength training), meditation,  plus my birthday list and I plan my week.

The simple act of visiting these lists at least once a week helps me actually do more self-care and getting it on my calendar makes it feel important and real.

7. Plan something special just for you during the holidays.

Maybe a vegan cheese making class or a yoga workshop or even an at-home pedicure. Something that makes your heart sing.

8. Make your plan visual.

I keep all my wellness prescription items on individual post-it notes on a price of construction paper. I hang this elementary school masterpiece on my closet door. As I complete each item I move it to the done place. Each night I review ( without judgement!) how my day went and note where I might need extra support or focus in the next few days.

It is simple and for me, it works.

How are you planning to take care of yourself this holiday season?


If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).


In case you are looking for more holiday self-care ideas,you might like:

How I Overcame the Holiday Humbug in 7 Steps

75 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love Today

The One Thing You MUST Be Ready To Do To Take Care of You This Holiday Season – a must read for anyone wondering how to respond to rude comments we get from those who love us most.

How To: Make Yourself Happier The Easy Way

how to make yourself happier the easy way

Start a gratitude practice.

I know, I know. It sounds lame, but the science supports it. UC Berkeley studies gratitude. UC Davis studies gratitude. More brain study research here.

And the science shows, if you want to feel more joy, optimism, and happiness, have a stronger immune system, lower your blood pressure, experience more generosity and compassion and feel less lonely and isolated – you have to practice gratitude.

For years, I resisted keeping a gratitude journal because I thought it was eye- rollingly New-Agey and so simple I thought it wouldn’t do anything. I pretty much mocked the very idea of practicing gratitude. But after reading the Happiness Project, I decided to give it a try because I really wanted to prove it wouldn’t work.

When I started, I kept it really informal. I just kept a running list of little things I was thankful for on my mobile device as I noticed them throughout the day: a cup full of sharpened pencils, a stack of graded papers, a really good hair day, a compliment from a student’s parent, a tasty lunch. Mostly pedestrian stuff.

Random at first and then I got more formal in that I asked myself to track five things every day that filled me with a sense of joy or thanks. Little things. Big things. But especially the little things.

And you know what happened?

I started feeling happier.

gratitude changes everything


Another thing I thought was lame and wouldn’t work, totally proved me wrong. AGAIN.

Today my gratitude journal lives as a document on my Google drive. Each morning after I finish my meditation I write five things I am thankful for and then I close the file.

When my day sucks, as it does occasionally, I open the file and remind myself of all the things that make my life not suck.

And you guessed it, I feel happier.

Interested in starting your own gratitude journal?


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My Attitude of Gratitude 2011 Edition including a link to our shout out on the Oprah Life Blog.

My November Yoga Pinterest board is full of all things gratitude including fancy art journaling ideas and inspirational quotes.

Do you have a gratitude practice? Will you try it for the month of November and see if it works for you?

Ten Things I Loved: October 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

Ten Things I Loved In October

ten things oct 2013

Things I/We Did

1.     Celebrated Family DayTwo years ago we met our girl for the very first time and we celebrate that day every year. It’s like Christmas and your birthday all rolled into one. This year we went to Apple Hill and celebrated with hot apple cider donuts, apple pie and pulled pork sandwiches followed by a giant car nap on the way home for Little Girl.

2.     Completed The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher You how they say you should write the book you want to read and create the program you want to take? THAT. Met some amazing teachers along this segment of the HHST journey and now we’re seeing where it continues to take us. Stay tuned. This ride isn’t over yet.

3.     Began getting serious about creating my business. I’m in full on learning/researching mode. I love learning new things, so this is fun. {ed note: “fun” turned into massive self-doubt.} Now just to make it all a reality. Look out 4th quarter 2013!

4.      Connected with friends in person and on the phone. I love social media, but nothing replaces seeing faces and hearing voices. This month saw walks with kids in strollers and in ergos, breakfasts out, office chats, tea around the dining room table and watching kids play in the backyard.

5.     Cousin time! Running, chasing, climbing, pretending, laughing. So happy to see my girl so happy.

Products and Services I Dug:


6.  Inequality For All. The movie. Go. See. It. NOW.

It is not your imagination. The middle class is shrinking. The uber rich are richer than ever. Like richer than any other time in the history of the world. And you aren’t one of them.

Robert Reich is a super smarty policy dude with lots of charm. He’s funny and engaging and able to make complex issues digestible.

Go see it.

Books I Can Highly Recommend:

7.   Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I think this one is my favorite yet. The writing seems a lot better than the others. Or have I just fallen under a magical spell?

{ed note: I wrote the comment above before I finished the book. HOLY HELL. I SOBBED at the end. As if I knew these people in real life. Dude.}

8.    Fat, Forty and Fired: One Man’s Frank, Funny, Inspiring Account of Losing His Job and Finding His Life by Nigel Marsh. I LOVE stories about people quitting their jobs to find more meaning in lives.

9.    The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Courage, Compassion, Connection. Re-reading it for a course and wow. I’m feeling it this time much deeper.

Videos I Fell For: .

10.     Fire Starter Sessions videos with Danielle LaPorte. I freaking love the smart people on the internet.

BONUS!  Sidesaddle KitchenI may or may not have watched every single one of these videos in one go. What can I say? Laura Miller is adorable and makes raw vegan food not gross. Who knew?


If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source: I took this picture. Please do not use it without permission.

Teacher Cooks: Breakfast Recipes I’ll Be Making Again

I have spent a boat load of time in the kitchen recently. There is something about fall that makes me want to spend time making all the yummy things.

Nothing says “yay for me” more than a warm breakfast.

Plus Little Girl LOVES helping, so it is a win, win.

These recipes have all been pretty easy to make and absolutely delicious.

recipes to make again overnight oatsCoconut Mango Overnight Oats from Oh My Veggies

I just warm them up in the morning and my belly is full until snack time.

recipes to make again vegan cinnamon rolls

Easy Vegan Cinnamon Rolls from What Vegan Kids Eat

Seriously easy and seriously delicious.

recipes to make again bagel apple goat cheese honey

Bagel With Goat Cheese (my sub), Apple and Honey from Real Simple Recipes.

What can I say? I love the carbs.

What’s been cooking in your kitchen lately?

If you want to keep up with our weekly menus, you can find them here. I add new stuff to try on Tuesdays and remove them from the board as I make them.

Or if you’d like to see other recipes I’ll be making again, you can find them here.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

Fifteen Ways to Have Fun With Your Family This Fall

I’m slowly, but surely learning that the more time I spend thinking about how I want to spend my time and how I want those activities to make me feel, the less time I spend mindlessly watching TV or trolling around Facebook.

My word of the year is connection, so keeping that in mind, I’m making plans for this fall which involves my friends and family.

I, like most people it would seem, love fall. Here in Sacramento, it cools down to the mid 80s and you can finally enjoy being outside in the afternoon. The leaves turn color and you can wear boots and layers and for the most part never be cold.

Fall is a good thing.

fall fun


1.     Go to Apple Hill (or your region’s equivalent) and eat all of the apple things. There has been talk of apple donuts, apple pie, apple cider. And, of course, garlic french fries.

2.     Celebrate Family Day – we celebrate the day we became a family with everyone taking the day off from work. We spend the day together, we go out to eat and this year we’re eating all the apples.

3.     Pick your own pumpkins at a pumpkin patch. We go to Uncle Ray’s because it’s a low-key place. The only thing you pay for is your pumpkins. Even parking is free. Plus it is less than 20 minutes from home. A perfect weekday field trip with the two-year old.

4.     Get lost in a corn maze – Uncle Ray’s is perfect for little ones.

5.     Tractor-pulled hay ride – Uncle Ray’s takes you on a little tour of the farm in the back of a hay-filled tractor. Last year, Little Girl, could not stop clapping. She absolutely loved it. So we’ll go again.

6.     Train rideThe Sacramento River Train goes between West Sacramento and Woodland. Three hours and ends up at, you guessed it, Uncle Ray’s! Apparently there is food and it takes three hours. This might be a mama friend date trip.

7.     Ginkgo leaf photos of Little Girl. So ginkgo trees down the block from us, or as I like to call them, The Twins, get absolutely spectacular in the fall turning from a lovely shade of green to the most brilliant yellow. I’ve been taking photos of the baby in those leaf piles for the last two years and I plan to do it again. I’m super glad they are in the front of someone’s house, so I don’t have to ask to go in someone else’s back yard to get these photos.

Plus waiting for the perfect time to take the photos forces me to watch those leaves closely. It’s a win, win!

8.     Watch the leaves change. See above. I’m on high alert. This is a new favorite fall activity.

9.     Try five new fall recipes. Haven’t decided what to make yet, so if you’d like me to make your favorite, leave a link in the comment section. I’ll most likely be using Pinterest as my recipe finder.

10.     Homecoming parade and football game. I went to my 25th high school reunion this past summer and visited the brand new campus of my alma mater, so it really only makes sense that I go to Homecoming this year. I don’t think I’ve been in at least 23 years. Also: I am old.

11.     Attend a soccer game to see my BFF’s son play. We are not yet being held hostage by sports every weekend, so this actually sounds like fun. And there will likely be delicious brunch after.

12.     Read fall themed books from the library. Over and over and over again. Our little bookworm lives in the land of repeats, so we might as well make them seasonal. Here’s some Halloween books and some pumpkin books and some monster books and some fall books and some more fall books.

13.     Consider an alternative to pumpkin carving.  I’m thinking pounding golf tees into a pumpkin would be a good idea.

14.  Tuck pretty leaves between the pages of your favorite books to be found laterNow I just have to wait until those damn leaves change color so I can start this business.

15.     Sign up for a seasonal class. My favorite is Yoga for Holiday Stress with my friend, Madeleine over at It’s All Yoga.

What’s on your Fall Fun list?


If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).


For more Fall Frolic ideas see:

Embrace Fall by Rosie Molinary

Fifteen Fun Things For Fall from Yes and Yes

101+ Fall Activities and Crafts from Kids from Growing A Jeweled Rose

Ten Things I Loved: September 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

ten things september 2013

Ten Things I Loved In September

Things I/We Did

1.     Sacramento Free Day of Yoga – Full house in my class with almost every person being brand new to restorative yoga. Love that people (about 1,700) were trying new studios, classes and teachers. A day full of love and rest.

2.     Played at the park in a rain storm on Labor Day. It NEVER rains on Labor Day in Sacramento and it did this year and it was kinda perfect. Little Girl looked up in the sky from the sandbox and shouted, “Mama, rain! Mama, rain!”

3.     Finished Take15 meditation program with HeadspaceAnd started Take 20. I have been trying to formalize my meditation practice FOR YEARS and with the help of this program, I can honestly say it is becoming a regular part of my life. I took the plunge and bought a year’s subscription, so we’ll see where I am next August.

4.     Enrolled in Parent Education Preschool. I’m the student and Little Girl comes with so I can learn from her and all the other little ones. We’re learning positive discipline, what to do with anger (hers and mine), how tiny people learn and develop and lots of fun age appropriate activities. The teachers are AH-MAY-ZING. Easily the most enjoyable 2 hours of my week.

5.     Cooked up a storm thanks to the meal planning and life scheduling instruction in The Healthy, Happy, Sane TeacherIs it weird I’m doing the program while I am teaching it?

Whatever. This is life changing stuff. Why should those enrolled be the only ones who benefit?

Interested in what we’ve been chowing down on lately? I’m meal planning on Pinterest usually on Tuesdays. Check out my This Week’s Menu board for what we’re currently eating and my Recipes to Make Again board for meals we’ve enjoyed so much we’ll be eating them again. We’re mostly vegan eats at home because I’m allergic to dairy and the hubs is vegetarian.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.  The post scheduling feature on Facebook pages. Who knew? Thanks to Smaggle I am now in the loop. 

Do any of you have any other little tidbits of information you think everyone already knows? I could use some more life hacks. Obviously.

Books I Can Highly Recommend:

7.   Seating Arrangments by Maggie Shipstead

8.    Last Letters From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes.

9.    Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in 10 Minutes a Day by Andy Puddicombe. At some point, I’ll stop talking about Headspace and meditation. Or not.

Videos I Fell For: .

10.     Olive UsDesign Mom’s kids have a series and it is inspiring. I would like to be in the Blair family please.

BONUS! Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields. I’ve been listening to the podcasts on my Bay Area trips. Makes my time on the road fly by.


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates (it’s FREE).

Inspired By – Currently…

Inspired by this photo I saw on Pinterest, I decided to play along.

currently1.  listening:     the fans at full volume to create excellent white noise for sleeping.

2.  eating:     cheesy vegan pasta knock off. inspired by vegan asana’s recipe.

3.  drinking:     fizzy lemonade and green smoothies.

4.  wearing:    dark green shorts and a navy v-neck t-shirt.

5.  feeling:     tired, but accomplished. tackled lots of work and life issues the last few days.

6.  weather:     high-80s – it feels like fall in the morning.

7.  wanting:     to stop worrying so much.

8.  needing:     a massage.

9:  thinking:     i need to start reading more fiction.

10: enjoying:     the structure of the new school year. once a teacher, always a teacher.

What about you, dear readers, what are you currently….?

Image source: Wendy Copley on flickr

Ten Things I Loved: August 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

Ten Things I Loved In August

august ten things

Things I/We Did

1.      Spontaneous trip to the steam train at Tilden. On a Tuesday. Back home before three. I’ve been having a serious love affair with the Bay Area recently. I don’t see it coming to a close any time soon.

2.      Sing along with Rhett Miller at a campground AND slept in a fancy tent. No, not like that. He played at a campground in the tavern and then we (me and my friend) slept in the most comfortable bed in the history of beds. In a fancy tent. If sleeping outside was always this comfortable, I’d do it more often.

best song ever

3.    Visited Big Sur for the first time. How is this even possible as a native Californian? Too busy in the Muir Woods, Mt. Tam, Stinson Beach area I guess. I will return again though. Well, if Rhett plays there again.

4.     Ran in the waves with my favorite girl at Navarro Beach with grandpa and the hubs. Girlfriend LOVES the beach, the waves, the birds, the sand. We had a blast running into and out of the waves for hours.

5.     Celebrated 18 years together with my dude. 18 YEARS. We ate burritos and took a dip in the pool, of course.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.  Take 10. Meditation app – 10 days for 10 minutes. Guided meditation. It practically has a gold star chart. 

Books I Can Highly Recommend:

7.   Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I’ve also been watching the movies and I’m way less of a fan. Makes sense, but I’m still a little disappointed.

8.    Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. You also may want to check out her Life Class with Oprah.

9.    Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. Loved this video with him and Marie Forleo.

Videos I Fell For: .

10.     Show Your Workfrom Austin Kleon (of Steal LIke An Artist)


Do you wish you could end the school year feeling as energized as you started it?

Did it take most of the summer to recover from the school year?

Have you already started school and are already stressed out?

Are you ready to press reset but have no idea where that button is?

The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-Care for A Successful School Year is that reset button.

Class starts in September – just in time for the new school year. Click here to register.

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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source: 

Ten Things I Loved In July 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

ten things july

Ten Things I Loved In July

Things I/We Did

1.      We skipped fireworks on the 4th. Best decision we made all year. It was 110 degreesInstead we stayed inside and watched March of the Penguins and ate popcorn and popsicles. Too hot!

2.   Read books on the hammock in the shade. I am unclear as to why I, the person who loves hammocks most, has never had her own hammock until now. It’s officially the thing I can’t believe I ever lived without.    

3.    Sang karaoke at my 25th high school reunion. Attention all reunion planners! Having a silly activity for people to do that isn’t drinking copious amounts of booze at a reunion is such a good idea. I know it would take copious amounts of booze for lots of people to sing karaoke, I just don’t happen to be one of those people anymore.

4.     Talked at so many faces I love. I am totally sold on the whole video chat thing-a-bob. You know how I like to be late to the party, this is just another example of my state of the art lifestyle.

5.    Spontaneous road trip to Truckee/Donner with my college roomie/bestie and daughter. She lives in Nashville, so this was a serious treat. Our girls got to hang out and mountain air can pretty much fix anything.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.   Cabana Club South – we’ve been there most days for dinner this month and it’s pretty much changed our lives. You know those terrible hours between dinner and bedtime with a two-year old? A dip in the pool makes life better for everyone. I highly recommend it!

Books I Can Highly Recommend:

7.   Mindset by Carol Dweck

8.    Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon

In My Blog Reader

9.     11 Things I Wish Every Parent Knew  – That spiritual teacher thing is so completely spot on, I just had to share.

10.     Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee The latest episode is with SNL cutie, Seth Meyers. He is adorable. Also, the Alec Baldwin episode made me laugh so hard I cried.


Do you wish you could end the school year feeling as energized as you started it?

Is recovering from the school year going to take most of your summer?

Are you ready to press reset but have no idea where that button is?

The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-Care for A Successful School Year is that reset button.

Class starts in September – just in time for the new school year. Click here to register.

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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source:Ellen chillin in my hammock by jmayer1129 on Flickr (cc)

Making the Most of Summer Break: Halfway Check In

summer of intentionality 2013

Oh my goodness, friends, I just realized we have hit the halfway mark for summer break 2013. *gulp*

It’s both good and bad news. I’ll leave the bad news up to you, but the good news is there is still time to make some summer break plans to learn, to do and to read.

Have you made your list of things to learn, to do and to read yet?

Here’s my update:

Summer of Intentionality 2013:

Things I Want to Learn:

Skype – – I have used it and am LOVING IT! It feels nothing short of a miracle every time it works. My dad asked me a “technical” question about how Skype works the other day on a video chat and my answer was “It’s magic!” and that pretty much sums up how I feel about the whole thing. I totally wish I would have started using it earlier.

Hootsuite – I’ll just say there is still time in the summer for me to give it a go.

Movie Maker – I’ve been playing around with camera placement, lighting and getting ideas together. Look for some new videos from me in the next few months.

Student Motivation – I am so excited to be learning about the research behind motivation. More on that below.

Things I Want to Do:

My Activities:

Yoga class twice a week at It’s All Yoga – a work in progress! I’m going to class more than I have been in the last couple months, but not making that twice a week goal. Something to work on.

Daily restorative yoga – dude. I need to get on this one.

Manicure – Must schedule appointment.

Pedicure – Must schedule appointment. Is this a good time to talk about my fear of getting oglies from getting a pedicure? Because I really think that is what is holding me back.

Foot massage -Someone may need to hold my hand on this one.

90 Minute full body massage July AND August appointments are on the books.

Road trip to see Rhett Miller with friends. Show tickets are purchased. Now we need to rent a car and find good places to sleep. I may also try to convince my friend to go to a restorative yoga class in SF.

Ride my bike for errands. – Dude, where’s my bike?

Nap in a hammock.- The hammock has been put together and has clocked lots of reading hours. The cat and the kid fight over who gets to try to knock me off. Needless to say, I may have to switch this from napping to reading. Just for safety if nothing else.

Make pie. Good god, I love pie. – So many pies have been made and consumed this summer.

Family activities:

Visit Minnesota grandparents – DONE

Visit Bay Area grandparents – DONE several times!

Visit Mendo County grandparents – in the scheduling process.

Visit Portland friends – they are coming here instead of me going there. Two on the books.

Visit the swimming pool several times a week as a family – Best.Idea.Ever. We’ve been meeting another family there for dinner and swimming more nights and it is simply the best. I’m going to be sad when summer ends.

Ride bikes as a family. – I am not even sure where my bike is at this point.

Go to the farmer’s market together. – So far it’s been teams of two, not three, but we go several times a week.

Cook outside at the pool and eat dinner there. – We haven’t cooked there, but we’ve brought lots of picnic food with us. I love summer food! Especially when it is shared with good friends.

Fruit picking – DONE

Late add: Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge – on the schedule

Late add: Tuesday Night BBQ – on the schedule

Things I Want to Read:

Complete the summer reading program at the library.

 Just Kids by Patti Smith – It was so different than what I thought it was going to be I have to say I was just surprised. I liked it, not loved it. I learned a lot, but completely different stuff than I had anticipated.

Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness – I have it, but haven’t started it yet.

Steal Like An Artist – by Austin Kleon. I reviewed it here.

Uncertainty by Jonathan Fields – I have it, but haven’t started it yet.

Mindset by Carol Dweck – I’m almost finished with it and if I have seen you in person recently I’ve told you to read it. Can’t wait to tell you more about it.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – I’m on page 556 and I’m still in, so it must be good.

That’s my mid summer update!

 How are you making the most of what’s left of summer break?

Ten Things I Loved In June 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

ten things june 2013

Ten Things I Loved In June

Things I/We Did

1.      School’s Out for Summer! Having a teacher husband makes for super sweet summer break times. Can you say spontaneous family road trips to the Bay Area when it gets to be 100 degrees?

Also not really knowing the days of the week is kind of awesome.

2.      Swimming pool business meetings. Possibly the best thing that has ever happened. I love talking business and I love standing in a swimming pool on a hot day. Yup, standing. A glorious combination.

Also recommended: reading whilst standing in a swimming pool.

3.     Curvy Yoga Certification, baby! In case you haven’t heard, I completed my Curvy Yoga certification. I’m busy setting up some yoga for all bodies workshops and scheduling one-on-one sessions. If this is something you are interested in, contact me as soon as possible to get on the schedule!

4.     Roamed rural Minnesota for a week with the grandparents. We played endless games of cards and board games, got schooled hard in ladder ball, ate popsicles on the deck, got chewed on by mosquitoes, caught lots of fish, cruised the lake on the boat with the two-year old driving (with grandpa), continuously ate crackers on all the flights (baby) and pretty much unplugged for a whole week (mama). All in all a seriously excellent trip. Hooray for Minnesota!

5.     Escaped the blisteringly hot valley into the cool Bay Area – two weekends in a row. Point Isabel, Tilden Botanical Gardens, Redwood Valley Railway (aka Steam trains in Tilden), Fernandez Park, Cheese Park (LaMoine), Cordenesis Park…. love, love, love them all. Thank goodness for living so close to the Bay.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.   PicMonkey. I love this service. You can do so much photo fun stuff for free. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it.

7.    Feedly. With one click of a button in a Dairy Queen parking lot I was able to transfer my entire Google Reader(RIP)  blog roll. That’s some service!

8.    Windows Movie Maker. Have I mentioned the yoga video part of The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher program? No? That’s because I wasn’t sure how to make it a reality until I downloaded this program. Can you say totally intuitive and ridiculously easy to use?

In My Blog Reader

9.     The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher is having an Independence Day Sale! Rosie said it best:

The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher  is the program we both needed most when we were teachers trying to navigate lesson plans and life plans and coming up short on the life part over and over and over again.  We know that we aren’t the only teachers who put themselves last in order to put everything else in their school building first.  And we also know, even though we didn’t back then, that it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can still totally kill it in the classroom without killing yourself.

10.     .What To Do When People Disappoint You (Or Act Like A-holes or Dillwads) by my favorite, Yes and Yes.


Are you a teacher or know one who loves teaching, but wants to have more work balance in their life? Have you heard about The Healthy, Happy, Sane Teacher: Sustainable Self-Care for A Successful School Year? Check it out!

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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source: v3 original of me and my kid playing at the park.

Making The Most of Summer Break: Summer of Intentionality

summer of intentionality 2013

Like most teachers, I look forward to summer break with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Free time, precious free time – to think, read, travel, plan for my next school year, do some professional development, basically restore my body and my brain.

Or fall down the internet rabbit hole and wonder where all my free time went. 

Does that ever happen to you? Has summer break slipped by without learning anything new, reading anything interesting or doing anything fun (or at least productive)?

So in order to combat summer break regret, I’ve started following Rosie’s lead by writing a Summer of Intentionality List that includes things I want to learn, books I want to read and things I want to do.

My husband is also a teacher, so I get the pleasure of spending my break with my sweetheart and two year old in tow. 

Without further ado, here’s my list.

Summer of Intentionality 2013:

Things I Want to Learn:

Skype – This has been on my list the last few years. And yes, this is the summer to make it happen. Want to chat? Hold my hand?

Hootsuite – I love me some social media and I love me some being away from my computer. Enter Hootsuite, the perfect way to make sure I’m giving you the posts you are looking for and while still playing at the pool. I’ll definitely still be on social media, I just need a strategy and a plan.

Movie Maker – shooting and editing video have been completely out of my comfort zone and yet it is time. (I’ve already started – check out my very first video ever.)

Student Motivation – I am curious to do some research how kids learn and what motivates some to work really hard. See below for one of the books I want to read to help me figure this out.

Things I Want to Do:

My Activities:

Yoga class twice a week at It’s All Yoga – yes, I finally have a home practice. I go to class for ideas, the support and the connection. I absolutely adore these people.

Daily restorative yoga – one pose every day to keep the stress monster away. Want to do this too? Try this or this. It will change your life.

Manicure – I haven’t painted my nails in years because I simply don’t think about it and I spend a lot of time on the playground. Sometimes I see other women with pretty nails and think I would like some of that too. Gift card for my birthday? And now I’ll have fancy nails too.

Pedicure – Get one. You know how I know I’m taking good care of myself? By how well I’m taking care of my feet. At home foot massage, daily moisturizing, rolling on a tennis ball, wearing shoes that aren’t flip flops plus a professional pedicure will help me have happy feet.

Foot massage – I am still unclear how I feel about this. Self-care or self-punishment? Jury is still out.

90 Minute full body massage each month. I’ve already done June and can’t wait for July.

Road trip to see Rhett Miller with friends.

Ride my bike for errands. Sacramento is super bike friendly in my neighborhood.

Nap in a hammock. I bought a hammock! I bought a hammock! Now I just need someone to put it together.

Make pie. Good god, I love pie.

Family activities:

Visit Minnesota grandparents.

Visit Bay Area grandparents.

Visit Mendo County grandparents.

Visit Portland friends.

Visit the swimming pool several times a week as a family.

Ride bikes as a family.

Go to the farmer’s market together.

Cook outside at the pool and eat dinner there.

Fruit picking – DONE!

Things I Want to Read:

Complete the summer reading program at the library.



What would you like to learn, do and read this summer?

Image source: parasol by Blancalala on Flickr (cc)

Last Minute Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide

teacher gift guide

If you are reading this, you may be panicking about how to show your kid’s teacher how much you love them.

May I say a gift is truly not necessary? Seriously. I have never thought less of someone or their family based on any gifts that were or weren’t given.

If you are absolutely certain you’d like to show some appreciation with a gift, I offer a guide.These are some things and experiences I have either gotten from families over the years or would love to get some day.

Last Minute Teacher Appreciation Gift Guide

A thank you card/letter either from the student or the parent. No store-bought card necessary! If you want to go this route, please be as specific as possible and include the ways the teacher has affected your student’s life. Seriously. If your kid’s teacher has made a positive impact on your student or your family in any way, they would most likely want to hear about it.

I have every letter like this I have ever gotten and I plan to keep them forever.

A magazine subscription for the classroom. Kids love reading magazines and I love having current issues in my library, but they are expensive. Depending on the grade level of the class will decide what is appropriate.

In third grade, I loved Time for Kids, National Geographic for Kids, New Moon Girls.

Office supplies. Dry erase markers, sharpies in all the colors, washable markers, a pencil sharpener that actually works, pencils (!!!!!), boxes and boxes and boxes of tissue, wipes to clean the desks. {My dorky teacher heart is all pitter patter about the thought of this!}

A book for the classroom library. Have your child pick out their favorite book from the year and donate a copy to the classroom library. Extra points for a dedication or a tiny book review to entice others to read it.

A magazine subscription for the teacher to read over the summer. Knowing I love music, one of my students gave me a year of Rolling Stone. Loved it! Maybe not your jam, but a year of Real Simple or Yoga Journal might be up your alley.

A gift card for office supplies. So appreciate any help we can get with buying supplies for our classrooms without digging into our own pockets.

A gift card for Powell’s or Amazon. We can buy something good to read over the summer. Maybe even a book to help improve our teaching practice!

A BPA free water bottle. Teachers are notorious for not taking care of ourselves, so why not gently encourage a healthy water habit with an awesome new water bottle?

A gift card to their favorite self-care team: yoga studio, massage therapist, hair stylist.

I hope you found this guide helpful. Please let me know if there is anything I missed.

Image source: The Man Of Yesterday by JD Hancock on Flickr (cc)

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for the Yoga Mama in Your Life

mother's day

So I’m a yoga mama and these are things and experiences that I would love for my family to share with me this Mother’s Day. Maybe something here strikes your fancy too and you can share this list with your family.

A home-cooked brunch with her best friends. We’ve started a Mother’s Day tradition which involves my husband making waffles with all the fixins for me and one of my best girls and our families at home instead of fighting Mom’s Day crowds. We round out the meal with fresh berries, juice and coffee/tea and have the luxury of no waiting and actually delicious food when we want it. {Don’t forget to clean the kitchen after!}

The gift of time…. at the studio. Why not treat your favorite yoga mama to a private session, a restorative yoga party with her friends, a new class card or a workshop with her favorite teacher?

{Be sure to include taking the kids to the park certificates with the studio time.}

The gift of books…and time to read them. Amazon or Powell’s gift card and if you need a list of good reads check out the link.

The gift of time….in nature. Why not plan a picnic and a half day get away to a quiet slice of nature for some family bonding time? Just remember this is about treating mama to a day, so please pack the sunscreen, cold drinks and a way to corral the little ones.

We love spending time out in the UC Davis Arboretum, out by the South Yuba River and by the water in the East Bay.

The gift of quiet….at home. My restorative home practice helps me keep up with my ridiculously active two-year old. I highly recommend these props to aid the relaxation.

The bible. I carry this book with me all the time. Helps with sequencing, props, pose ideas.

The bolster. A key prop for super relaxation. I love mine so much I sleep with it. I get no props for my love note about these props, so feel free to take my word they rock the relaxation.

The eye pillow. Love the weight, the sweet lavender smell and the peach skin feeling. I’ve recently starting using 3 during my practice {one for the eyes and one for each hand} – delicious.

The sandbag. What can I say?  I love the feeling of grounding that comes from the weighted props.

What would you like to receive this Mother’s Day?

Image source: heart en route by rosmary on Flickr (cc)

Ten Things I Loved in April 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. 

april 2013

Ten Things I Loved In April

Things I/We Did

1.      Pixie!  Good god, I love a dramatic before and after. Don’t you? My hair was getting so long and was constantly being pulled into a messy pony tail. Not exactly the look I was going for. Now I feel like I look like myself again. Weird, but true. If you are in need of a hair make over, my best girl Tari, is your gal. She is an artist.

2.     Showed up for a friend. Have you ever thought your presence might not matter? I’m here to tell you it does. The look on my heartbroken friend’s face when I showed up after her brother’s funeral made the long drive worth it. I couldn’t not go, you know? Being there for friends sometimes means actually being there.

3.     Spontaneous road/day trip to Lake Tahoe. Can you say beautiful? Oh my goodness, I was reminded how much pine trees and mountain air contribute to my happiness. Bonus being there with one of my besties who jumped right into the chase the toddler game.

4.     Dramatically improved the quality of my sleep. My ridiculously expensive night guard from the dentist got fixed this month and I started wearing it consistently and I have been experiencing the deepest, most restful sleep possibly of my entire life as a result. Honestly, I thought they were full of it, but this is the real deal. My jaw feels great when I wake up and I’m so much better rested. Who knew?

5.     Restorative yoga class, as in I took one. 75 delicious minutes of fully supported relaxation. Perfection.

Products and Services I Dug:

6.    Tari at Parlour By The Park. My girl, Tari, always works magic with my hair. She can do the same for you. If you’re looking to update your look or completely change it up (maybe even cut it all off!), Tari can make you look better than you thought possible. Give her a call. She’s works some serious magic.

7.    SwapAsana at It’s All Yoga. We swap clothes, shoes and accessories twice a year; once in April and again in October. I always score tons of cute stuff and other people tell me they love bringing my stuff home, so it’s a win/win. If you’re interested in coming to the next SwapAsana, be sure to follow It’s All Yoga on Facebook. And if you life outside of Sacramento, you can always host a swap of your own. It’s way less work than you’d think.

8.    Cozi.com. I missed an eyebrow appointment and we had a parent double booking this month. Clearly, it was time we started using a family calendar. Cozi came recommended from Hollee at Good Enough is the New Perfect and Asha from Parenthacks – so we decided to try it. This free app is pretty much changing our lives. No more missed appointments, double booked parents or forgotten shopping lists. 

In My Blog Reader

9.      Thug KitchenA perfect blend of easy vegan cuisine and filthy language. I wish I would have thought of this! If you have ever spoken to me in the reals (and are not a child), you have heard an f-bomb of seven fall from my lips. What can I say? I swear like a limited vocabulary sailor. Dairy free fo life!

10.     Ditch the Haters from Brittany and TahnSo much wisdom and vulnerability to learn from here. So happy to hear not only did she turn down the date with the cute, mean guy, but told him why. Change your story, change your life indeed. 


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source:  Meadow, 05/1972. by The U.S. National Archives on Flickr

You Become What You Pay Attention To

In class each week I try to share some nugget of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way. Recently most of what I’m sharing comes from my friend, Rosie’s book, Beautiful You.

Day 23: Realize That You Are What You Pay Attention To

She writes –

Consider this very simple truth. What we pay attention to, what we put our energy into, is a statement about what is important to us. It is a reflection of who we are.

She goes on to challenge the reader to examine and reflect where their attention and energy is spent and to make adjustments if they don’t like what they find.


I’ve been limiting my intake of things that I don’t find helpful or kind (no more Law and Order SVU marathons for me) and I’ve found I’ve felt more at ease as a result.

Here are a few things I have found quite helpful lately.

  • Megan Francis’ The Kitchen Hour podcast. Specifically the episode with Math For Grownups author Laura Laing. In this podcast they talk about how to help your kids with math homework, online resources and how to deal with that pesky “new math”. I was completely riveted and wish I had known about this website and book earlier.
  • Joy the Baker podcast. Good lord, where do I start?  My child sings the theme song. Let’s just say these ladies have made their presence known (and loved) in our household. Can not say enough how much I crack up in every episode. I’ll bet you’ll want to be their best friends too.
  • Body Positive Yoga’s videos have brightened this curvy girl’s day. Amber is super funny and she knows her modifications for the three B’s: booty, belly and boobs. Such a great resource!
  •  How to Be Fascinating – Marie Forleo’s interview with Sally Hogshead. I was lucky enough to get a free deal because I subscribe to Marie’s weekly emails (and I will say I actually look forward to getting them each week because they are so good.) Turns out I’m a trendsetter – I see the future and would like you all to come with me. Sounds exactly right! In a world full of power yoga, I’m asking people to lay down and be quiet.
  • Brene Brown (one of my all time favorites) is sharing her favorite books. This is ridiculously exciting for a book nerd like me.
  • My friend Rosie is a genius (this post is inspired by something in one of her books!) and she has figured out the secret to life: unscheduled days. I know. Brilliant!

What are you putting your energy and attention these days?

10 Self-Care Ideas That Take 10 Minutes or Less

small improvements

Do you feel like you don’t have the time to do self-care because you don’t have an hour plus a day to devote to it?

I definitely have a long history of not doing things because I couldn’t do them perfectly or the way I thought they “should” be done. I figured the small things didn’t really matter, but boy I was wrong.

The first time I really noticed how small things added up was when I was taking a self-guided classroom management course. As a life long procrastinating perfectionist with an already over booked schedule, I was anxious about finding the time to actually get all the work done.

My plan was to work for 20 minutes every day on it. Just 20 minutes. My promise to myself was that I would stop working as soon as the timer went off even if I had’t finished anything. I just needed to start something.

Well, two weeks later of daily 20 minute bursts of actual work (it’s really hard to procrastinate when you only have 20 minutes) and I was finished with the class and feeling quite accomplished.

With that success under my belt, I started looking for other areas in my life where I could put 20 minutes of attention.

Kitchen duty that used to completely overwhelm me? – Done.

Mounds of laundry? – Done.

Yoga home practice? – Done.

If you are looking for ways to help take care of yourself, why not start with small ways that don’t take much time?

10 self care ideas that take 10 minutes or less

1.  Sip a cup of tea in silence.

2.  Go to bed 10 minutes earlier and get a bit more shut eye.

3.  Read a book for pleasure.

4.  A single restorative yoga pose.

5.  Schedule a massage, a much needed doctor appointment or a visit with your insurance agent to review your life insurance policy (ok, maybe that one is for me).

6.  Slather lotion on your hands and feet and let it soak in before you move.

7.  Snuggle with your sweetheart.

8.  Cook a warm breakfast or make a green smoothie to go.

9.  Take yourself on a walk.

10. Make an appointment to talk to a therapist if you are really struggling.

How do you manage your self-care?

Image source via pinterest.

Ten Things I Loved in March 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff.

ten things march 2013

Ten Things I Loved In March

Things I/We Did

1.      Hung out with Rock Stars. Specifically, paid to see Rhett Miller play at Yoshi’s in SF, only to find Chris Isaak in the audience. Chatted pleasantly with both like it was no big deal.

2.     Sang songs with Old People. Inspired by a repeated viewing of Lost in Translation, I   invited a bunch of friends to come sing karaoke with me for my birthday. At 3 in the afternoon. With my 2 year old. Good, good times were had by all.

3.     Pressed send on my first speaking proposal. Eek! And how exciting!

4.     15 Minute Mini Vacationand I didn’t even have to leave my house.

Products and Services I Dug:

5.    Yoriginality workshop with Anna Guest-Jelly of Curvy Yoga and Alexandra Franzen. Holy helpful, Batman! If you teach yoga, you’ve got to take this workshop. 

6.    Solution Session with Sarah Von Bargen. So helpful, professional and kind.

7.    Blue Moon Cafe and Karaoke private rooms, good microphones, wide selection of sing along songs. Plus beer, french fries and chow fun! Also: karaoke happy hour prices in the afternoon.

On The Bookshelf 

8.      Minimalist Parenting by Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh. I reviewed it here. I already want to read it again.

9.     Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – another one of those parenting books that would help every classroom teacher manage their classes better. A must read for parents and teachers. You also may find out a bit about yourself, I know I did.

10.    How to Love More by Caring Less by Martha Beck. I read this in an old issue of O Magazine and decided I wanted to share it with you. I’m still pondering. What do you think?


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source:  Love is all around: 8×10 Fine Art … by MarianneLoMonaco on Etsy

43 Books: Minimalist Parenting by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest

As part of my 43 Before 43, I’m reading 43 books.

I bought this for myself for my birthday and it is book number 39. Not too shabby.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:

  • The title. Seriously, if the word minimalist is in the title I’ve probably already checked it out.
  • The subtitle: Enjoy Modern Family Life MORE by doing LESS. – I love doing less and enjoying more. Like a lot.
  • An entire chapter dedicated to self-care!
  • The ideas in this book are completely doable.
  • This book helped me feel less alone in the sense that I want to do less and enjoy parenting more. I still see so much what I call parenting Olympics around that it was refreshing to read a book with beliefs similar to mine.
  • As part of the book launch, the authors held a 2 week Min Camp where each day we were asked to do an easy action from the book. It was such a great way to put the book into action. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s still going on.
  • I love the idea of limiting extra curricular activities (both from a parent AND teacher perspective – down time is good for everyone).
  • I love the idea of saying no to activities and physical stuff to make room for the remarkable.
  • Kudos to the authors for emphasizing working with the teacher when dealing with their kids’ school and the idea of GOOD ENOUGH when it comes to school. I was basically fist pumping and shouting during that part.

A couple of things that weren’t my favorite:

  • I wish the self-care chapter would have been first instead of last because I am such a huge advocate of self-care. I get that a lot of people haven’t been taking care of themselves and have to sort of be talked into doing something for themselves. But SO IMPORTANT!
  • The writing in the education section got a bit circular. I’m thinking because it is so ridiculously personal for each family and everyone’s experience is so different. Still, the emphasis on taking the competition out, (ironically) wins.

The all important question – would I want to be friends with the author?

Good lord, YES! Asha and Christine use their own experiences and family stories to illustrate the topics in the book and I feel like we are kindred spirits.

Should you read Minimalist Parenting?

Absolutely. If you have kids and feel like your life is running you instead of you enjoying it, read this book now.

Have you read Minimalist Parenting? What did you think?

Ten Things I Loved In February 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff.


Ten Things I Loved In February

Things I/We Did

1.      Day trips to the Bay Area. When seasonal allergies are killing you, why not just get the hell out of dodge? We visited with friends, ate dim sum, watched dogs playing at the dog park and generally avoided all the trees I am allergic to in Sacramento. Bliss.

2.      Reached out for help when I needed it. Friends rallied and my doctor kindly reminded me how much nasal spray allergy medicine is my friend.

3.     Brunched at home. Steel cut oats with all the fixins with some of my favorite local yoga ladies. Seriously, if you have a kid (or are otherwise busy most evenings) I highly recommend having friends over for breakfast. It is a great way to connect and share a meal at a non traditional meeting time so more people are available.

4.    Published my HIRE ME page. Hello, universe! And just like that, people contacted me to work with them on exciting projects. More on this to come later!

5.     Advocated for myself in a way that felt authentic and true. I can’t share on what yet, just know I made myself proud.

6.     Visited the quiet and remembered it is hard and scary. And worth it.

Products and Services I Dug:

7.     Schroeder’s Shoes Repair –You know when you get such great customer service it brings a smile to your lips and a tear to your eye? This is that place. I brought two pairs of Mary Janes in with strap issues and he fixed one pair while I was standing there (for free) and did an excellent job fixing the other for $5. Please keep this guy in business and bring all your shoes here to be repaired.

On The Bookshelf 

7.      Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. I reviewed it here.

8.     Beautiful You: A Daily Guide To Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary. READ IT. So we can talk about it!

9.    The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. – Oh my. Oprah and Gretchen Rubin both mentioned this title and I thought I’d give it a chance. Turned out to be a quick read and left me wanting all my friends and loved ones to read it so they could tell me their love language. I’m a Words of Affirmation with an Acts of Service chaser. Do you know your love language? Have you read this book? Did the “love tank” language make you giggle out loud every.single.time. you read it? Or was that just me?

Warning: at the very end, the author lets the reader in that he’s super Christian. Since this came as news to me, I thought I’d let the cat out of the bag in case this sort of thing also surprises you.

10.     I Want to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza. Did you all know Tony Danza, from Taxi and Who’s the Boss? fame, taught high school for a year and had a reality show about it? If so, why didn’t you tell me? I read this book in about a day and a half. It was charming and quite frankly, he said a lot of things teachers like to hear.


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source:  LOVE mirror by Oxley Woods Photos on Flickr (cc)

Ten Things I Loved In January

Taking time each month to reflect on the good stuff has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff.  I’m truly thankful for Rosie’s inspiration.

Ten Things I Loved In January

Things I/We Did

1.      Introduced the girl to Sesame Street and the rest of the gang on Sprout. She was sick, it was cold. I got sick super anxious, it was cold. Mostly I liked how she walked around, played with toys and checked it once in a while. She liked the musical numbers best. Good for dancing.

2.      Watched the Inauguration and totally cried. Ruby danced with the Obamas, clapped with the audience and waved at the President and First Lady.  She totally cracked me up. She is so good at TV

3.     Brunched at home. New Year’s Day Crepe Party AND a Waffle Party. Once I decided brunches were easier and better than dinner parties with a toddler, we’ve been eating a lot more with friends. Take it from me, forget dinner and bust out your waffle iron.

new years crepes and salads

4.    Connected. I left blog comments, made and received phone calls, sent texts, took walks, coordinated play dates, dined with out-of-town visitors, and we visited out-of-town friends.

me and my girl - self portrait

On The Plate

5.     Baked Honey Oatmeal with Raspberries and Pistachios

6.     Minestrone soup

On The Bookshelf 

7.      The Hunger Games You guys! This was so good! Like for real. It kept me up past my bedtime several times and gave me a night of insomnia brought on by my excellent survival empathy skills.

8.      A Short Guide to A Good Life by Anna Quinlan – Truth in advertising. Very short and also a good life.

9.    Dads Are the Original Hipsters by Brad Getty. – I laughed. Hard. A lot. Not rocket science (like any of my picks are), but entertaining.

10.     Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. What can I say? I’m hooked. (PS – I am totally reading all the Hunger Games sequels next even though I heard they are in no way as good as the first. Thoughts you care to share?)


11.     The $100 Start Up by Chris Guillebeau

12.     Vegan Diner: Classic Comfort Food For the Body and Soul by Julie Hasson.


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.


43 Books: A Short Guide to A Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

As part of my 43 Before 43, I’m reading 43 books.

A Short Guide to A Happy Life is a very quick read that gave me pause.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:

  • The title. So many key elements for wanting to read this book: short, guide and happy.
  • It mostly felt fresh and heartfelt.
  • She talks about being in sole custody of your life. – In my mind both daunting and exhilarating.
  • She talks about living a full life beyond work, school, achievements and developing your soul. – I couldn’t agree more. There is so much more to life than working.
  • I read it in less than half an hour – (plus I could add another read to my list!) – and it left enough of an impression I wanted to tell others about it.

An excerpt and my favorite part: 

But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

A couple of things that weren’t my favorite:

  • In some places it felt a bit dated (published in 2000). Post 9/11 writing has a different feeling.
  • The quotes definitely have been used a lot since publication – example:  “No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office.” – Paul Tsongas

The all important question – would I want to be friends with the author?

Yes. She seems to have a lot to teach (and so many books for me to catch up on).

Should you read A Short Guide to a Happy Life?

Yes. I think most of us could use a bit more happiness in our lives and development of our souls.

Have you read A Short Guide to a Happy Life? What did you think?


Loving:     Watching my beautiful child nap in the car and parking outside of Temple to use their wifi.  Oh the sweet, gentle nap time. So much better than the frustrating last few weeks of nap resistance and mama yelling. And just a few days ago, I was worried that this was becoming a thing and now I’m a peace with it.

Oh time (and perspective), I love you.

Watching:     MarieTV. I love getting videos each Tuesday. Marie teaches how to create a business and life to love. Funny and helpful. Every single week.

Reading:     Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance, Hunger Games (because I try to stay ahead of the trends), and The Happiest Toddler on the Block.

What can I say? I have a lot of reading needs.

Anticipating:     A trip to see Rhett Miller play in SF in March!

Listening To:     Tara Brach’s “Finding True Refuge“.

Planning:     My birthday party. I know it is still more than 2 months away, but still.

Working On:     The plan for next school year and my return to the classroom.

Wishing:     I could stay up past 9 pm.

What about you? What are you currently…?

Thank you, Gina, for the post inspiration!

Image source: We Heart It

A Resolution for Self-Acceptance


In preparation for planning my yoga classes for the month of January, I settled in on the notion of resolutions or the need for change. I, myself, have made countless promises to myself to finally get it right this year.

Each New Year, I promise myself and set out to to become the new and improved version of me, one with no more of those pesky flaws I tend to worry about when no one else is paying attention. I suspect they may be too busy running themselves into the ground to worry about me.

As most of us have made resolutions each year and wholeheartedly and with great enthusiasm pursued our freshly flossed teeth, countless miles on the running trail and ingesting everything green in the grocery store, only to burn ourselves out by February and return to our previous state of unflossed teeth, couch/channel surfing and emotionally eating comfort foods because we have once again failed to change ourselves for the “better”.

What if we decided to do it differently this year?

What if we resolved to spend all our enthusiastic January energy into accepting ourselves for how we are, flaws and all?

What would life feel like in February?

In Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance, author Rosie Molinary, challenges readers to Accept Your Imperfections  and to “give up the perfection facade and just be who you are.”

This, my friends, is my challenge to you this month. And by you, I mean me.

Can we just practice letting things be as they are and learn to finally accept who we really are?

What are your thoughts or resolutions and self-acceptance? I would love to connect, so please let me a comment.

Also, if you’d like to practice letting things be, I am teaching restorative yoga at It’s All Yoga on Sunday afternoons from 4:30-5:45.

Image source: pinterest

Word for 2013

This time of year, a lot of people are setting intentions and making resolutions, myself included most years.  As it turns out, I’m less good at resolutions than one would like. So rather than doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, I’ve decided to try something different.

This year I’ve decided to go with a single feeling/theme I would like to cultivate in my life and not just another list of do’s and don’ts.

This feeling idea had been floating around in my head all month and was solidified when I overheard some yogi friends talking on Twitter about their year words {listening and compassion}, when Ashlee posted hers, Amy posted hers and Rosie posted this.

The feeling I most want to cultivate this new year is CONNECTION.

Connection – just the word brings up warm and fuzzy feelings for me. I am imaging a year full of new holiday traditions, lots of hugs and hand holding, cooking and eating with friends, snuggles under the covers with books and movies, book club meetings, phone/Skype dates, road trips/vacations, meeting friends for tea, lunch and movies, communing with nature as much as possible and finding time on my mat just being quiet.

What about you? What comes to mind when you hear the word CONNECTION? What word or theme speaks to you this year?

Image source: We Heart It

Ten Things I Loved In December

Taking time each month to reflect on the good stuff has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff. I’m truly thankful for Rosie’s inspiration.

Ten Things I Loved In December

Things I/We Did

1.      Celebrated our tiny girl’s 2nd birthday. She is growing up! I know, I know, enjoy it while I can. But I really felt like she was one FOREVER, so I am happy to report she has made it to two. Love this girl with my whole heart and at least part of yours.

2.      Reconnected with friends from junior high.    A couple of times a year for the past few years a group of us from Juan Crespi Junior Hugh School get together for some reminiscing and general wacky good times. This time was family fun day in our home town – El Sob#1 – for burgers at The Original Red Onion and playing at Cheese Park.

3.     Celebrated good news on the legal and health fronts.

4.    Visited the Sacramento Zoo on Christmas Eve. We have a family tradition!

zoo xmas eve

5.     Reveled in the brilliance that is Yoga for Holiday Stress with Madeleine Lohman at It’s All Yoga. People, I have shared in the past that I am not really friends with the holiday season. However, since starting this yearly tradition {three years running!}, I now have a new found affection for the holiday season.

The secret, it would seem, is to make friends with the season and do the seasonal things that makes you smile. Not your mom, not your crazy sister — you.

Who knew?

6.    Played in the California State Capitol Building and danced in front of the state menorah and Christmas tree. The running, jumping and testing the acoustics in the Capitol happened spontaneously, but man, that was the most fun I’d ever had in there.

7.    Purged closets, drawers and baskets. I absolutely love getting rid of stuff. Especially other people’s stuff. Good thing I have a little kid and can go through her stuff. The husband is less excited about me getting rid of his stuff, but I’m working on it.

In all seriousness, I asked for permission to get rid of anything I wanted for Christmas.

He did not bite.

This time.

Not to worry, friends! My birthday is right around the corner and I think I’ll ask again.

On The Plate

8.     Daily green smoothies. I am in the midst of a 5 week Holiday Wellness Challenge with Nikki over at Mindful Moms Holistics

9.     Burger, fries and onion rings at The Original Red Onion. {burp!}

On The Bookshelf 

10.      Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – by JK Rowling. I previously believed I had no interest in these books. Two teacher friends convinced me to give it a try and I absolutely loved it! I’ve already reserved the second book and watched the movie.


So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.


My friend, Rosie Molinary, made a list and I loved hers so much I stole her idea. Now I’ve been inspired to pause and notice the good stuff each month.

How I Overcame the Holiday Humbug In 7 Steps

image source: we heart it

I have a long history of hating the holidays. All of them, but especially the ones the last six weeks of the year.

Yes, even as a kid.

Maybe it was the high expectations for fun or the knowing one side of your family was disappointed because you were with the other or the shuttling from place to place to place…

In any case,  the holidays used to fill me with dread and a heavier dose of SAD than the average gal.

That is until recently.

Three years ago, I signed up for a Yoga for Holiday Stress workshop at It’s All Yoga with my good friend, Madeleine. I thought if nothing else, I will have a nice day of yoga with one of my favorite teachers, but what I ended up with was nothing short of revolutionary.

The best take away from Madeleine’s workshop: if the holidays get you down, find new traditions that make your heart sing.

New Holiday Traditions Maybe You’d Like to Try:

1.    Take a yearly workshop in December – mine is yoga, but maybe yours is cooking, crafting or reading. Do something fun for yourself either with a friend or on your own. You may even make new friends there.

When will you find the time in an already stuffed full calendar you ask? I started saying no to things that weren’t working for me any longer (or never had and I had been doing them because of tradition or other people’s expectations). Once I started saying no, I was able to find time to do activities that made me happy.

Was it uncomfortable at first? Oh, yes! Disappointing people isn’t my strong suit, however, the trade off ended up being worth it.

2.   Listen to holiday music that doesn’t make you cringe – mine is the Do They Know It’s Christmas (best.song.ever) station on Pandora. They played lots of Wham’s Last Christmas and Bruce Springsteen and Bing Crosby and Elvis. Even the Waitresses made the cut. Now when little Ruby hears Christmas music she pumps her little fist in the air and dances along.

As cute as you might expect.

3.   Make a different kind of tree each year – seems like a lot of work I know, but knowing my little monkey will climb anything and every thing the idea of putting a tree in my house just seemed completely nuts. Plus I’m less into the 3D tree than most. Don’t get me wrong, I like looking at them a lot – in public places and at your house…. kinda like how I love other people’s dogs.

4.   Saying no to shoppingwhat???? I know. But hear me out.We have a really small house and we’re trying to keep the clutter monster from eating us alive, so not bringing more gear into the house ourselves helps toward that end.

The Hubs and the Girl’s birthdays are in December so those two are presented up right before Christmas. We usually make a present of some sort of the grandparents (which requires us to get our act together way before December) and we decided years ago to forgo presents for each other so we can have less stress and get better birthday gifts. We see it as a win, win. Plus our girl is tiny right now and doesn’t really get the present thing, so…. we’ll check in later on this business. But just know, for now, it totally works for us.

5.      Saying yes to experiences – the zoo on Christmas Eve morning, White Christmas on the big screen, walking around midtown looking at Christmas lights. I’m hoping to add seeing the Nutcracker and ice skating once little girl is a bigger girl. I figure we are saving lots of time cutting out baking, shopping, and wrapping, so we might as well have fun.

6.     Healthy eating and walking daily – this one is new this year and I feel so much better because of it. Every morning this month I’ve been drinking warm lemon water as soon as I get up (before !) and drinking either a green smoothie or vegetable soup to start the day with lots of vitamins and fiber. What a huge difference this has made! I don’t know about you, but when I start my day in a healthful/intentional way, that’s usually how my day goes. I think I’ll keep it up after the holidays.

7.    Stay mindful. Or at least keep coming back to the moment. This is a good practice all year long. Most moments are pretty darn good, if I’m leaving the past and future where they belong. A mindful practice can look like a formal meditation sit, but usually looks more like a nature walk in the early morning or washing dishes for the thousandth time.

Tell me about the holiday traditions and winter activities that you love. I’m always interested in adding new fun winter activities to our calendar.